The Note: Behind the Locked Double Doors

Joe Klein in Time Magazine: "Two questions need to be addressed: Will an American withdrawal from Iraq create more or less stability in the Middle East? Will a withdrawal increase or decrease the threat of another terrorist attack at home? It does not matter whether you believe the war was right or wrong. If the answers to those questions are less stability and an empowered al-Qaeda, we'd better think twice about slipping down this dangerous path." LINK

Time Magazine's Donnelly reports on Sen. Warner's quest for an unvarnished truth of the situation on the ground in Iraq by going beyond the top brass and talking directly to battalion commanders. LINK

Some local reaction from a Cincinnati VFW and Rep. Schmidt's former opponent Paul Hackett (D) to her stricken remarks that got tons of weekend play: LINK

Roll Call's John Bresnahan reported for the newspaper's Web site on Friday that Republican lawmakers are saying that ties between Murtha and his brother's lobbying firm, KSA Consulting, "may warrant investigation by the House ethics committee."

Alito for Associate Justice:

The Associated Press on Sen. Biden's putting the filibuster option back on the table: LINK

(Yes, yes - we realize he never really took it off the table, but his tone yesterday is far different than the one he struck a few Sundays back.)

The Washington Post ed board writes that Alito's dissent in a constitutional challenge to a federal machine gun ban is "troubling." LINK

"Judge Alito's desire to extend the logic of Lopez to such a law seems to indicate an overly restrictive approach to the commerce clause -- though he did note that Congress could fix the statute quite easily. Senators will need to satisfy themselves that he does not envision a dramatic curtailing of national power."

The Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin reports that legal scholars are "puzzling" over what Alito meant in his 1985 job application in "disagreeing with cases that enforced the doctrine of 'one person, one vote' as the basic structure of American elections."

David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times looks at how partisans are fighting the Alito nomination battle in the states during this pre-confirmation hearing/recess period and declares, "Although the two national political parties are involved, the Republican organization is far more engaged." LINK

Bob Novak's column explores the dilemma in which Red State Democratic Senators find themselves as well as fact checks the Groody case claims made by liberal groups. LINK

"During his 15 years sitting in Newark as a member of a federal appeals court, Judge Alito has sided almost uniformly with those who have complained vigorously in recent years that zealousness in enforcing the Constitution's separation of church and state has unfairly inhibited religious practices," writes the New York Times' Neil Lewis. LINK

A group representing 1.5 million Reform Jews came out against Alito's nomination this weekend, reports the New York Post. LINK

Jeffrey Toobin looks at the fatalism of the abortion rights movement for the New Yorker and concludes thusly: ". . . the fact remains that through thirty-two years, and the appointment of seven Justices by Republican Presidents, Roe has endured." LINK

Bush Administration:

In her "White House Letter," the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller puts the Bush/Cheney relationship on the couch and gets Andy Card to profess that the Vice President remains a very senior advisor to the President. LINK

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